Solyndra Syndrome Spreads

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There’s no escaping Solyndra Syndrome. Here in my home state of Colorado, citizen journalists have uncovered our own gaping government green loan sinkhole. The stench of Chicago-on-the-Potomac is fouling the fresh Rocky Mountain air.

Meet Loveland-based Abound Solar, the lucky winner of a $400 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration. Earlier this month, the thin-film cadmium telluride solar module-maker announced layoffs of nearly 300 employees (70 percent of its workforce). In addition, the firm froze plans to build a new factory in Indiana. Abound says it will ride out bad market conditions and “hopefully” survive until the market recovers.

But White House hope-a-nomics is what got Abound and taxpayers into trouble in the first place.

Back in 2010, President Obama promised America in his weekly radio address that Abound would “manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu waves his green pom-poms, too. “Not only is this investment creating thousands of jobs, but it is also increasing our renewable energy manufacturing capacity and putting us on the path for our future prosperity.”

Like the rosy projections Obama and Chu used to justify pouring half-a-billion dollars in eco-subsidies down the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar drain, Abound’s financial outlook was based on mathematical make-believe. Hope plus change equals fail. Turns out Abound raked in green government funds despite big red flags from Fitch Ratings.

GOP House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wrote: “Fitch describes Abound as lagging in technology relative to its competitors, failing to achieve stated efficiency targets, and expecting that Abound will suffer from increasing commoditization and pricing pressures. DOE’s willingness to fund Abound, despite these concerns, calls into question the merits of this loan guarantee.”

The financial mess was reported by ABC News, but the Obama administration has so far escaped real scrutiny of his crony venture socialism.

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  • truebearing

    Barack Quixote is furiously tilting at windmills, despite the fact that Denmark leads the world in wind generated energy, and enjoys the second most expensive energy, behind only Germany, which relies heavily on solar. Now Germany is moving away from solar because of the expense.

    So why is Obama insisting we follow the path insanely traveled? He's just making sure he thoroughly completes the nihilism stage of the revolution. Energy for industry is like oxygen for the body. Cutting energy and making it expensive will ultimately facilitate enough de-industrialization to knock the US down several pegs and more willing to become a subordinate state in the world federation.

  • davarino

    There ought to be hearings galore on what this admin is doing and yet there are none. What gives? When are the Repubs going to start turning up the heat? I hope they are just wait till they see the whites of their eyes, and not just on the same team.

  • jacob

    Unfortunately, there is no hope whatsoever, neither from the Republican senator who inherited Teddy
    Kennedy's lifetime seat nor from the people the Tea Party sent to Congress and the few who dared
    drag the administratitionon feet to the fire, were just preaching in the desert or plowing in the sea,
    thanks to the lack of interest from their colleagues..
    Where did Rep. ISSA and Rep. KING inquiries end ????
    Isn't HOLDER laughing out Congress on the FAST AND FURIOS fiasco ???.
    Has anybody been sued on the SOLYNDRA fraud ???
    Will anyone be sued on this new fraud ???
    OF COURSE NOT…! ! !

    And in the meantime, the responsible for all this diisaster, is running for reelection and from what can
    be seen, seems he'll make it….

  • Wesley69

    My question is simple. Why aren't the American people angered by yet another waste of their money. We are in debt, but the Obama Administration just thows money at any green scheme that may or may not work, but will not be competitive with oil or natural gas. I forgot, Obama and Chu want oil prices to rise… so green energy can be competitive with it. More examples of other Solyndra's and that will never happen.

    • Arab Bling

      Wesley! Good to see you…or at least, your avi. I'm angry about Solyndra, but then you knew that.

      I've been shopping for a PV array for a decade and would prefer to buy American, but not when they operate like this.

      • Wesley69

        Good to be here, Arab Bling and be in touch again. Got plenty to do and discuss before the election. One thing is to expose Obama's record on energy. When it hits Americans in their pocket, then they may think twice about reelecting Obama.

  • pierce

    Why aren't the American people angered. Perhaps they are so wrapped up in their survival of this recession/depression that they don't know, or don't care. And one more reason could be they are tired of fighting the corruption in Washington. The American people will have one more chance to prove they are not stupid. In November there is a Presidential Election, who will they vote for, the incumbent, or the other guy.

  • ebonystone

    If any of these green-energy companies had a real chance of making a profit, it would find plenty of backers in the open market. Instead they have to pick the taxpayers' pockets to get backing. There's no better indication that they likely to be failures.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Perhaps this is Obama’s way of paying off his cronies with our money. There is a pattern here. Get a loan from the government, set up an operation, fail to produce, lay off the little guys in the firm, pay the firm executives bonuses, and finally go out of business.

  • Texasron

    Does Obama take responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of birds, including eagles, owls, bats and vultures killed by windmills every year? Someone needs to ask him.

  • W. C. Taqiyya

    No, no, NO! You guys are all wrong. Those green projects are all successful. The only problem with them is that those darn republicans refuse to buy replacement batteries. How can you expect any clean energy stimulant to perform without batteries? And they need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use. In his second term, Obama promises to include batteries with each new marital/economic stimulant shipped. He's so smart. Sigh.

  • koran kid

    It's too late to hope for a change of direction now. This is the nascent green ponzi pyramid. An interesting specimen on the half baked marxist horizon, and one to watch. At first sight, the top of the pyramid is bold and magnificent, in the image of the great Dynastic Pharaoh Barry 3rd, building on the fine work of Pharaoh Jimmy 1st and Pharaoh Billy 2nd. You change the law first, you rob the people second, and you pay off your mates third with a first in first out tax take away dinner that would make Bernie Madoff blush. But once you get closer, you start to wonder what is going on, since the peak of this green pyramid seems to float without any base, in the manner of a pie in the sky, but sadly of the pastry not the mathematical variety, and propped up only by a single spineless fifth column that drivels endless praise for the Sun God. It soon becomes all too clear and clear to all that this inflatable mirage in the desert is wind not sun or water powered, and chiefly out of the combined wind output of the three great Dynastic Pharaohs' six great orifices, all working mightily at once. Endorsements get added haphazzardly here and there by any embarrassed fillings from the other side in this triple decker sandwich from socialist hell, which just brings the whole abominal structure up in one massive projectile vomit all the quicker. Any ancient pyramid builder, and even the late and great modern pyramid maker Charles Ponzi himself, must be wetting their knickers laughing or crying themselves to sleep, while the rest of us watch on, at a safe distance if we're lucky. After property, we have the environment. Pyramids come in threes. Any guesses? Barry's mate Dave is pouring QE into a high tech Ponzi in Shoreditch, to rival Silicon Valley! Along with 50,000 new tax collectors to make sure any real businesses cough up for it. So you guys have got some serious ponzi pyramid competition. Talk like an Egyptian! I've got a much better idea. What about building the space shield we need to save us from that meteor predicted by Nostrodamus that must be hurtling towards us from outer space at this very moment? That can replace the space race. Is Barry running out of ideas? Can't he pave the way for a fourth American Pharaoh with a mission to save the world, with a brief Mormonic interloper between? Oh, please, if you're not poor, they are such fun. The I can get on and write the American Book of the Dead.

  • mjazz

    The GAO predicted in July, 2008 that the “Risks inherent to the LGP (loan guarantee program) will make it difficult for DOE to estimate subsidy costs, which could lead to financial losses and may introduce biases in the projects that receive guarantees…The likelihood that DOE will misestimate costs, along with the practice of charging fees to cover the estimated costs, may lead to biases in the projects that receive guarantees…To the extent that DOE underestimates the costs and does not collect sufficient fees from borrowers to cover the full costs, taxpayers will ultimately bear the costs of shortfalls.”